New law proposes a 100% ban on public smoking in South Africa

Photo by Andres Siimon on Unsplash

A handful of medical and humanitarian groups are calling for the introduction of the Control of Tobacco and Electronic Delivery Systems Bill in South Africa, just days after the national tobacco ban was lifted.

The National Council Against Smoking (NCAS), the Cancer Association of South Africa (CANSA), the Heart and Stroke Foundation South Africa and South African Medical Research Council are pushing the new bill which has been up for public comment since May to August 2018.

The bill aims to regulate vape products and decrease the impact of second- hand smoke on 80% of the population, who are reportedly non-smokers.

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Savera Kalideen, executive director of NCAS said it was urgent to “expedite passage of the bill to protect public health and reduce the burden on the public health system” – especially during a pandemic.

A main focus of the bill is to also implement a 100% ban on smoking in public places. The current smoking law bans smoking in public places but allows for designated smoking areas in places like bars, taverns and restaurants provided that they do not take up more than 25% of the venue.

“We want to change the 25% allowed smoking in public areas to 100% prohibition of smoking in public areas.” – Public Health Policy and Development consultant Zanele Mthembu.

Read more on the latest local news, right here.

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